WPost Won’t Retract McCarthyistic Smear

After publishing a McCarthyistic “black list” that smears some 200 Web sites as “Russian propagandists,” The Washington Post refuses to apologize — and other mainstream media outlets pile on, writes Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

We still don’t have any sort of apology or retraction from the Washington Post for promoting “The List” — the highly dangerous blacklist that got a huge boost from the newspaper’s fawning coverage on Nov. 24. The project of smearing 200 websites with one broad brush wouldn’t have gotten far without the avid complicity of high-profile media outlets, starting with the Post.

On Thursday — a week after the Post published its front-page news article hyping the blacklist that was put out by a group of unidentified people called PropOrNot — I sent a petition statement to the newspaper’s executive editor Martin Baron.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

“Smearing is not reporting,” the RootsAction petition says. “The Washington Post’s recent descent into McCarthyism — promoting anonymous and shoddy claims that a vast range of some 200 websites are all accomplices or tools of the Russian government — violates basic journalistic standards and does real harm to democratic discourse in our country. We urge the Washington Post to prominently retract the article and apologize for publishing it.”

After mentioning that 6,000 people had signed the petition (the number has doubled since then), my email to Baron added: “If you skim through the comments that many of the signers added to the petition online, I think you might find them to be of interest. I wonder if you see a basis for dialogue on the issues raised by critics of the Post piece in question.”

The reply came from the newspaper’s vice president for public relations, Kristine Coratti Kelly, who thanked me “for reaching out to us” before presenting the Post’s response, quoted here in full:

“The Post reported on the work of four separate sets of researchers, as well as independent experts, who have examined Russian attempts to influence American democracy. PropOrNot was one. The Post did not name any of the sites on PropOrNot’s list of organizations that it said had — wittingly or unwittingly — published or echoed Russian propaganda. The Post reviewed PropOrNot’s findings and our questions about them were answered satisfactorily during the course of multiple interviews.”

Full of Holes

But that damage-control response was as full of holes as the news story it tried to defend.

Russian President Vladimir Putin after the military parade on Red Square, May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

Russian President Vladimir Putin after the military parade on Red Square, May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

For one thing, PropOrNot wasn’t just another source for the Post’s story. As The New Yorker noted in a devastating article on Dec. 1, the story “prominently cited the PropOrNot research.” The Post’s account “had the force of revelation, thanks in large part to the apparent scientific authority of PropOrNot’s work: the group released a 32-page report detailing its methodology, and named names with its list of 200 suspect news outlets…. But a close look at the report showed that it was a mess.”

Contrary to the PR message from the Post vice president, PropOrNot did not merely say that the sites on its list had “published or echoed Russian propaganda.” Without a word of the slightest doubt or skepticism in the entire story, the Post summarized PropOrNot’s characterization of all the websites on its list as falling into two categories: “Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were ‘useful idiots’ — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.”

As The New Yorker pointed out, PropOrNot’s criteria for incriminating content were broad enough to include “nearly every news outlet in the world, including the Post itself.” Yet “The List” is not a random list by any means — it’s a targeted mish-mash, naming websites that are not within shouting distance of the U.S. corporate and foreign policy establishment.

And so the list includes a few overtly Russian-funded outlets; some other sites generally aligned with Kremlin outlooks; many pro-Trump sites, often unacquainted with what it means to be factual and sometimes overtly racist; and other websites that are quite different — solid, factual, reasonable — but too progressive or too anti-capitalist or too libertarian or too right-wing or just plain too independent-minded for the evident tastes of whoever is behind PropOrNot.

As The New Yorker’s writer Adrian Chen put it: “To PropOrNot, simply exhibiting a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream is enough to risk being labeled a Russian propagandist.” And he concluded: “Despite the impressive-looking diagrams and figures in its report, PropOrNot’s findings rest largely on innuendo and conspiracy thinking.”

As for the Post vice president’s defensive phrasing that “the Post did not name any of the sites on PropOrNot’s list,” the fact is that the Post unequivocally promoted PropOrNot, driving web traffic to its site and adding a hotlink to the anonymous group’s 32-page report soon after the newspaper’s story first appeared. As I mentioned in my reply to her: “Unfortunately, it’s kind of like a newspaper saying that it didn’t name any of the people on the Red Channels blacklist in 1950 while promoting it in news coverage, so no problem.”

Pushing McCarthyism

As much as the Post news management might want to weasel out of the comparison, the parallels to the advent of the McCarthy Era are chilling. For instance, the Red Channels list, with 151 names on it, was successful as a weapon against dissent and free speech in large part because, early on, so many media outlets of the day actively aided and abetted blacklisting, as the Post has done for “The List.”

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the “Red Scare” hearings of the 1950s.

Consider how the Post story described the personnel of PropOrNot in favorable terms even while hiding all of their identities and thus shielding them from any scrutiny — calling them “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.”

So far The New Yorker has been the largest media outlet to directly confront the Post’s egregious story. Cogent assessments can also be found at The InterceptConsortium NewsCommon DreamsAlterNetRolling StoneFortuneCounterPunchThe Nation and numerous other sites.

But many mainline journalists and outlets jumped at the chance to amplify the Post’s piece of work. A sampling of the cheers from prominent journalists and liberal partisans was published by FAIR.org under the apt headline “Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited ‘Fake News’ Blacklist?

FAIR’s media analyst Adam Johnson cited enthusiastic responses to the bogus story from journalists like Bloomberg’s Sahil Kupar and MSNBC’s Joy Reid — and such outlets as USA TodayGizmodo, the PBS NewsHourThe Daily BeastSlateAPThe Verge and NPR, which “all uncritically wrote up the Post’s most incendiary claims with little or minimal pushback.” On the MSNBC site, the Rachel Maddow Show’s blog “added another breathless write-up hours later, repeating the catchy talking point that ‘it was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign.’”

With so many people understandably upset about Trump’s victory, there’s an evident attraction to blaming the Kremlin, a convenient scapegoat for Hillary Clinton’s loss. But the Post’s blacklisting story and the media’s amplification of it — and the overall political environment that it helps to create — are all building blocks for a reactionary order, threatening the First Amendment and a range of civil liberties.

When liberals have green-lighted a witch-hunt, right wingers have been pleased to run with it. President Harry Truman issued an executive order in March 1947 to establish “loyalty” investigations in every agency of the federal government. Joe McCarthy and the era named after him were soon to follow.

In media and government, the journalists and officials who enable blacklisting are cravenly siding with conformity instead of democracy.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of the online activist group RootsAction.org. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

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50 comments for “WPost Won’t Retract McCarthyistic Smear

  1. David Smith
    December 5, 2016 at 5:39 am

    PropOrNot is engaged in libel, also all media outlets that shilled for them. Their bare a**es are hanging out. Stop whining, lawyer up, and threaten to drag them into court, they will all back down very quickly. This case has zero relation to the McCarthy thing as that emanated from the Federal Government, which enjoys Sovereign Immunity, and even then Joe played a sly game of innuendo, unlike these hamfisted clowns who have stepped right into a pile of their own poop. Don’t stand there wringing your hands and whimpering. If you fail to seek relief in the courts, the libel stands as “truth”, and they can keep repeating it. Don’t be a chump. One more thing, don’t let Norman Solomon swear an affidavit, he will make things worse.

    • JWalters
      December 5, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      The oligarchy strikes back. They seem to be getting desperate. Perhaps they see the possibility of jail time on the horizon.
      http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    • Bob In Portland
      December 6, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      From the article:

      When liberals have green-lighted a witch-hunt, right wingers have been pleased to run with it. President Harry Truman issued an executive order in March 1947 to establish “loyalty” investigations in every agency of the federal government. Joe McCarthy and the era named after him were soon to follow.

    • Rob Roy
      December 7, 2016 at 10:14 am

      I agree. (But I don’t follow your last sentence.)

    • Ellen Corley
      December 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      David Smith’s dismissive comment on Norman Soloman’s much needed call out of the Washington Post’s McCarthyistic smear and publication of Fake News is a perfect example of how the new post-Fairness Doctrine, post-Citizen’s Protection Act, post Citizen’s United, post-anti-lobbying laws, post-Honest Services world now seems to think that any citizen journalist can just “lawyer up” to take on Washington Post and other Federalist Society-defended “big media” “conglomerates. This is why we the people needed an FCC that hasn’t been captured by the Federalist Society Reagan-era Republican legal counsels that came out of the same corrupt swamp of public corruption as McCarthy, Nixon, Bill Casey all of whom were conspiring to money launder their self-dealing conflicts of interests by abusing their power to privatize the public interests through their abuse of public office (forbidden by the Hatch Act as Richard Painter, the Bush Ethics Lawyer recently wrote) by putting those with conflicts of interests in terms of not wanting regulations in a position to dismantle regulations over the agencies charged with regulating the market for the good of the public and the private interest groups.

      A perfect example of the real conflicts of interest we seeing unfolding now in the Trump’s appointments to his administration (if we can’t stop him first) is the example of how in the Reagan Administration, Bill Casey was simultaneously in charge of the SEC, the CIA, the Republican Campaign Committee, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, the Federalist Society and this is how he was able to dismantle the public trust, the public estate, and the Constitutional protections of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. (The details of this were uncovered by investigative journalist, Dennis Mazzocco in Networks of Power: Corporate TV’s Threat to Democracy.)

      The “new world order” has captured the Justice Department and the Regulatory Agencies and put the onus on the citizen consumers to sue for justice. This British, NATO, CIA, Revisionist Zionist “new world order” Mafia Deep State (per Peter Dale Scott) of Trump add the Federalist Society is operating as if the world is a big market and the “monetarists” like David Addington and Dick Cheney win by pulling off a coup d’etat as if it is a legal “hostile takeover”. This article by Lyndon LaRouche should be read by every member of Congress and we need a Congressional Hearing into like a new McCarthy Hearing – this time keeping the focus on the Fascists like MCarthy, Nixon, and the Wall Street Revisionist Zionists that LaRouche has identified who were supposed to be the focus of the first McCarthy Hearing.

      See the LaRouche website for excellent forensic history of the political economics of the British monetarist’s like Lazard Frere’s takeover of the United States. The one report that needs to be read by everyone in Congress and fact-checked according to the Fairness Doctrine principles is “Cheney’s ‘Schmittlerian’ Drive for Dictatorship http://fb.me/7LTDfxaKX

      The bottom line is that the consumer can’t be expected to figure out what is true and what is false in this democracy because our media is being censored by Big Corporations and the CIA which actually took over the media (ABC) when Capital Cities, which was owned by Reagan’s Campaign Director and the CIA Director and the head of the SEC, Bill Casey abused his power to short the value of ABC and buy it up while also starting the Manhattan Institute and using other CIA front groups like Radio Free Europe to further the interests of their “investors”. This is the kind of “conflict of interest” that needs to be exposed in the Trump “election” since the people who pushed through the Trump election are the same ones that CIA front groups like the Manhattan Institute have been cultivating through the various Think tanks – which are actually lobbyists who are self-dealing and writing it off as if they are “social welfare” organizations entitled to tax-breaks of a 501 4C (or whatever) so that they can rewrite regulations to benefit themselves and hurt those who try to expose them. This is why the people they put in charge of the Ethics Committee like Darryl Issa were so aggressively defensive about the power of the IRS to investigate the Tea Party. The connections between these Republican Party and Democratic Party donors like Betsy DeVos need to be investigated by a non-corrupt Ethic’s committee. We need a new McClure’s team to provide an honest oversight like we might have had if the Republicans had not thrown out the honest Civil Rights attorneys in the Justice Department and then gotten away with Karl Rove saying he lost the 22,000 emails on the RNC server he was using throughout the time he was Chief of Staff in the Bush administration. If nothing else, the Congress and the Supreme Count needs to investigate why the Justice Department only investigates email crimes when Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton do it. It is because the Justice Department is working for the Republicans and has been for years. The other major injustice that needs to be tackled ASAP is the way Newt Gingrich pushed through EVERY article of the Contract with America (which Bernie Sanders rightly termed a Contract on America) and worst of all is the way they linked all funding for UN Peacekeeping to funding for NATO Intelligence war-mongering. This is how they financed their Project for a New American Century and 9/11 and they have continued to get away dismantling Health, Education and Welfare using tax-payer money. (The NATO act they pushed through was National Security Revitalization Act and it really seems to be as much of a Carl Schmitt Nazi plan for ensuring the 4th Reich as any Act can be – especially given that no one in the media or Congress seems to know that it is in place. As Ted Olson bragged at a Federalist Society event, the difference between Bill Clinton and Ted Olson as a Federalist Society Legal Counsel is that the Federalist Society’s powers are not limited by the Constitution. That’s how they have gotten away with re-interpreting the Constitution so that the unitary executive has unlimited powers during “emergencies” like they got with Pearl Harbor and the War on Communism and 9/11 and the War on Terror. @SibelEdmonds has provided excellent investigative journalism into how the 3rd Reich has continued to further it’s imperialist agenda through NATO and Gladio Team B’s and Propaganda 2 use terrorism and false flag incidents to build willingness in the public opinion for the military to take over the state in coup d’etats. This is why Recep Erdigan is now more suspicious of NATO than he had been before he saw how the forces backing his coup and murder-attempt in fact included his so-called NATO allies that the US and Obama are in denial about how the coup really was backed by NATO and Fetullah Gulen and Israeli Revisionist Zionists under Netanyahu (whose father along with Rahm Emanuel’s father were members of the Irgun terrorist group. All of this needs to be investigated in the UN International Criminal Court.

      As an unemployed Citizen Journalist, I can’t “lawyer up”, but I can try to organize progressive press and legal community to challenge the Big Lobbyists behind the WPosts and the Federalist Society and the Republican Party’s assault on the rights of all citizens to equal protection before the law regardless of our financial means, race, denomination or religion which includes our being a Socialist, a Communist or a person from another country (which should be protected by the 14th Amendment). If anyone wants to join me, let’s organize this under ConsortiumNews since Robert Parry showed his ability to take on the corrupt military industrial complex’s capture of the public estate in the Iran Contra hearing. I’m also interested in looking at how the Teapot Dome incident was exposed. I think both depended on an independent media and that is why we need to challenge the way corrupt lawyers threw out the Fairness Doctrine and Honest Services laws and the Civil Right lawyers in the Justice Department and reduced our legal system to being a Carl Schmitt system that anwers only to a Fuhrer. It really has happened here! I think Lyndon LaRouche, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Amy Goodman, Sibel Edmonds, and Norman Soloman could help. We need to organize now!

      I am attaching this link to legal analysis of these issues since I think we need to be our own lawyers in order to expose corruption like this. I find the thinking of Thomas Jefferson and John Dewey to be good inspirations as the kinds of Jurists we need to organize with now! Political Speech of Charities in the Face of
      Citizens United: A Defense of Prohibition by Roger Colinvaux http://preview.tinyurl.com/jcey5so

  2. Realist
    December 5, 2016 at 5:49 am

    I am familiar, through daily reading, of many of the sites that the Post condemns as Kremlin fronts. The Post is trying to pull a fast one on the American public to support the bellicose agenda of the neocon bipartisan war party in Washington. It’s as simple as that. They are liars and warmongers. If sources like Consortium News, Counterpunch, and Information Clearing House are “useful idiots” in the service of (Exactly what now, since communism is dead? Oh, yeah, reconstituting the Soviet Union they say.) then most of its readers are similar dupes since essentially everyone who posts at those sites seems to think that America is the aggressor in the world today and has been pushing the envelope on an incipient World War III. Just answer a simple question, Post: What government has started wars in seven countries since 9/11, resulting in the total breakdown of civil order in most of them? This includes both wars of aggression across international borders and civil wars within countries. It sure hasn’t been Russia, although that country has been the target of American attacks through proxies, first in Georgia, then Ukraine and most recently in Syria. How many times does Robert Parry, for one, have to reconstruct historical events, many captured through the magic of electronic recording, step by step for the dumbest idiot working at the Post to finally grasp the truth? It was Victoria Nuland who said “eff the EU” and “Yat’s is our guy,” not Vladimir Putin. It has been Poroshenko and the Rada stonewalling an objective investigation of the downing of the Malaysian airliner, not the Duma in Moscow. It was Sakashvilli who invaded South Osettia and killed Russian peacekeepers, not Pope Francis. It was the mercenary jihadi terrorists from all over the world who have resorted to poison gas in Syria several times now, not Assad, not Putin, not even Donald Trump. Can the Post not tell the truth about this run of the most vicious wars since WWII all executed or instigated by the United States ever? Not even once? Jeez Louise, Pravda and Tass were more honest and flexible during the height of the previous Cold War than the Post is now.

    • RAB3L
      December 5, 2016 at 9:34 am

      So Russia was the target of an attack by a US ‘proxy’ Georgia in 2008? South Ossetia is part of Georgia, not Russia, as recognised by most of the countries in the World. The Georgian attack only took place after provocation by the Russians. The Russians prepared very carefully for this; their railway troops repaired 50 miles of railway line in Abkhazia (also part of Georgia) and were withdrawn just before the conflict with Georgia. A bit like Mexico repairing railway tracks in Texas!

      • Realist
        December 5, 2016 at 10:33 am

        Neither Ossetia nor Abkhazia, inhabited by ethnic groups different from Georgians, felt they were a part of Georgia after the split-up of the Soviet Union. They wanted to be independent, just like the Georgians. Neither Georgia, Ossetia or Abkhazia had been independent countries in hundreds of years, but rather parts of Russia going back to the empire. A civil war ensued, resulting in a stale-mate. Russian soldiers, sanctioned by the UN, were inserted between both of those groups and the Georgians to keep the peace. The findings of the UN commission after the dust-up involving Russia and Georgia ascertained that it was GEORGIA which attacked the Russian peace-keeping troops. That was the official version of events, not your revisionist history. I think the WaPo sent you over to dispense some “fake news,” eh?

        • Chet Roman
          December 5, 2016 at 11:42 am

          Thank you for the clear and accurate response to the lies about Russian activities in South Ossetia. The American neocons and Israelis (who trained the Georgian troops) have been trying to provoke Russia and create an international incident. And it continues. The neocons that supported the coup in Ukraine have installed former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili (a fugitive from criminal charges in Georgia), as Governor of Odessa Oblast in Ukraine. Much like when the neocons installed a former U.S. State Department employee, Natalie Ann Jaresko, as Ukrainian’s Minister of Finance 2014 till 2016.

        • RAB3L
          December 5, 2016 at 12:40 pm

          Yes, that’s why Abkazian and South Ossetian independence is only recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru!

          • Realist
            December 5, 2016 at 2:55 pm

            Big whoop, that’s because the world allows itself to be cowed by American intimidation time and again, hypocrisy notwithstanding. America dictated that Yugoslavia be fragmented because it’s what the natives wanted, then Kosovo had to be extracted from Serbia for the same supposed reasons. The US is actively pursuing the same in Syria, after the identical phenomenon played out in Iraq and which we did not but should have seen coming. Yet it would deny the right of Ossetia, Abkazhia, Crimea and the Donbass to choose their own freedom from another ethnic group that has controlled their existence for many unhappy years. I never expect just or logical answers from Washington.

        • rosemerry
          December 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

          Your comment then the reply to rabl deserve high praise as real news!!!
          It seems the antiRussian fever slides into so many minds: I found in the New Yorker piece “the hack of the Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s e-mail seems likely to have been the work of Russian intelligence services.” an unwarranted assumption when Wikileaks claimed the release of all those emails and Assange made it clear they were not from Russian sources (but what would he know, with ten years of factual releases and no errors so far.)

      • Idiotland
        December 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        So Russia somehow got Georgia to attack South Ossetia while Putin was at the Bejing olympics, no less. Pretty amazing.

    • Abe
      December 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      South Ossetia declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia’s autonomy and trying to re-establish its control over the region by force. The crisis escalation led to the 1991–92 South Ossetia War.

      Following the 2003 Rose Revolution, Mikheil Saakashvili promised bring the region under Georgian rule. Tensions escalated, fueled by US calls for the removal of Russian peacekeepers from the conflict zones. A Georgian military offensive initiated the 2008 Russia–Georgia war, and resulted in Ossetian and Russian forces gaining full de facto control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast.

      • Bob In Portland
        December 6, 2016 at 10:33 pm

        Incorrect, Abe. South Ossetia declared independence not from the Soviet Union in 1991. They declared independence from Georgia.

        • Abe
          December 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

          The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic declared its sovereignty over Soviet laws on November 18, 1989. It renamed to the Republic of Georgia on November 14, 1990.

          A referendum on the future of the Soviet Union was held on 17 March 1991. The question put to voters was:

          “Do you consider necessary the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics in which the rights and freedom of an individual of any nationality will be fully guaranteed?”

          Although the vote was boycotted by the authorities in Georgia (as well as Armenia and Estonia), the Soviet Autonomous Oblast of South Ossetia and the Abkhaz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic voted overwhelmingly in favour of preserving their autonomous rights and freedom in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

          Georgia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on April 9, 1991 and subsequently attempted to seize control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

          Nevertheless, the Soviet Autonomous Oblast of South Ossetia and the Abkhaz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic remained under the legal authority of the USSR until its dissolution on 26 December 1991.

          Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia was internationally recognized as its legal successor on the international stage. Since then, the Russian Federation has assumed the Soviet Union’s rights and obligations.

          For more detailed history, see my additional comments below.

      • Abe
        December 7, 2016 at 2:36 am

        Georgian independence was unrecognized by the Soviet government and Georgia was in the Soviet Union until its collapse in December 1991.

        Following the breakdown of the Tsarist regime in Russia, South Ossetians allied with the Russian Bolsheviks, fighting a war against the newly independent Menshevik Georgia. The Red Army prevailed and the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic was established in 1921.

        The South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, an autonomous administrative unit for Transcaucasian Ossetians, was created in the the Tskhinvali region on April 20, 1922.

        During the Soviet period, relations between ethnic Ossetians and Georgians were generally peaceful, with a high rate of interaction and intermarriages. In 1989, around 98,000 people lived in South Ossetia. Of these, 66.61% were Ossetian and 29.44% Georgian. Another 99,000 Ossetians lived throughout the rest of Georgia.

        On 11 December 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Georgia passed a bill that effectively abolished South Ossetia’s autonomous status. Russia intervened and a state of emergency was declared in South Ossetia.

        On 9 April 1991, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Supreme Council of Georgia declared independence.

        On May 4, 1991, the South Ossetian Supreme Soviet declared its intention to unite with the North Ossetia oblast of the Russian Federation. This was rejected by the Supreme Soviet of Georgia.

        On 26 May 1991, Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as the first President of independent Georgia. Gamsakhurdia stoked Georgian nationalism and vowed to assert Tbilisi’s authority over the Soviet Autonomous Oblasts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gamsakhurdia was soon deposed in a bloody coup d’état, from 22 December 1991 to 6 January 1992.

        The Soviet Union dissolved between August and December 1991.

        The former The South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was declared the newly independent state of South Ossetia with limited recognition on November 28, 1991.

        Amidst rising ethnic tensions, the 1991–1992 South Ossetian War (also known as the First South Ossetian war) broke out when Georgian forces entered the capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali.

        More than 2,000 people are believed to have been killed in the First South Ossetian war. Former Soviet military units, who by now had come under Russian command, aided the Ossetians. Approximately 100,000 Ossetians fled Georgia proper and South Ossetia, while 23,000 Georgians left South Ossetia. A ceasefire agreement (the Sochi Agreement) was reached on 24 June 1992. The Joined Peacekeeping Force (JPKF) created by the agreement consisted of three members with equal representation: Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian contingents. While it ended the war, the Sochi Agreement did not deal with the status of South Ossetia.

        The Joint Control Commission for Georgian–Ossetian Conflict Resolution (JCC) was established to oversee joint peacekeeping forces in the region. The Ossetian de facto government controlled the region independently from Tbilisi. JPKF activities were mainly concentrated in the Conflict Zone, which included an area within a 15-km radius from Tskhinvali.

  3. Junior
    December 5, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Of course it probably should go without saying that this PropOrNot nonsense and the whole Fake News BS is to counter PIZZAGATE.

    The ruling class wants the status quo, but they can’t help the change happening now.

    https://therulingclassobserver.com/2016/12/04/15019/

    • Bob In Portland
      December 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Unless Pizzagate was created by the status quo to use as a weapon against alternative media.

  4. Dennis Rice
    December 5, 2016 at 9:56 am

    It’s past time when those who call for war and more war should go to the front lines and fight it themselves.

    As it is, they stay safely at home enjoying the “good life” while others die; away from danger, eating well, sleeping well, staying warm, staying cool, making more money and having sex with their wives and husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends.

    You don’t have to be blind not to see it, just ignorant to deny it.

    To them, I say “Fight your own damned wars!”

  5. natoistan
    December 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

    This is a long story which extends over fifteen years. NATO first attempted to silence those citizens who were trying to discover the truth about the attacks of 11 September 2001. Then it turned on those who contested the oficial version of the «Arab Springs» and the war against Syria. One thing leading to another, it then attacked those who denounced the coup d’état in Ukraine. Now NATO is behind the accusations by a pseudo-NGO that the people who campaigned for Donald Trump are Russian agents.

    While Propaganda or Not? does not publish the names of its directors, it does indicate that it unites four organisations – Polygraph, The Interpreter, the Center for European Policy Analysis and the Digital Forensic Research Lab.

    – Polygraph is one of the sites of Voice of America, the US public radio and television organisation controlled by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
    – The Interpreter is a magazine of the Institute of Modern Russia, now broadcast by Voice of America.
    – The Center for European Policy Analysis is a pseudopod of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) directed by Zbigniew Brzezi?ski and Madeleine Albright.
    – And finally, the Digital Forensic Research Lab is a programme of the Atlantic Council.

    In a document distributed by Propaganda or Not?, this pseudo-NGO, born of associations financed by the Obama administration, clearly names its enemy – Russia. It accuses Russia of having been the origin of the 9/11 Truth Movement and the Internet sites supporting Syria and Crimea.

    On 2 December 2016, the United States Congress voted a law forbidding all military co-operation between Washington and Moscow. In the space of a few years, NATO has re-activated MacCarthyism.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article194344.html

    • Abe
      December 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Curiously missing from Thierry Meyssan’s analysis is Bellingcat. Eliot Higgins has been a principal co-author of numerous Atlantic Council “reports” based on Bellingcat “investigations”.

  6. Drew Hunkins
    December 5, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    The New Yorker piece that Solomon cites very positively as being “devastating” is problematic. A close reading of that New Yorker article shows Chen to still be a believer in Putin and Russian intel maliciously and surreptitiously inserting propaganda into U.S. media channels.

    • Dennis Rice
      December 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Sorry, Drew. But I just read the article and this, “Chu said that Wyden’s office played no role in creating the report and didn’t endorse the findings. Nonetheless, he added, “There has been bipartisan interest in these kind of Russian efforts, including interference in elections, for some time now, including from Senator Wyden.” does not qualify to show “Chen to still be a believer in Putin and Russian intel maliciously and surreptitiously inserting propaganda into U.S. media channels.”

      It merely states “bipartisan interests” in Russian propaganda.

      Oh, could we wish that we had “bipartisan interest” in our own world wide propaganda.

      Think of how many lives of American soldiers would be spared.

      I love my country, but I am not about to roll over and play dumb, misinformed American about the covert and illegal sins of my own “shadow” government.

      Nor the idiotic, misinformed, intelligence of members of Congress.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 5, 2016 at 3:20 pm

        Sorry, Denis. Below are actual quotes from Chen in which he implies that Moscow disinformation propaganda aimed at a U.S. audience is a serious problem. Of course that it’s a supposed serious problem at all is pretty ridiculous. Yet Chen in the New Yorker piece plays it up.

        “Eliot Higgins, a well-respected researcher who has investigated Russian fake-news stories on his Web site, Bellingcat.”

        Here Chen legitimizes Higgins and Bellngcat.

        “Like the most effective Russian propaganda, the report weaved together truth and misinformation.”

        “Bogus news stories, which overwhelmingly favored Trump, did flood social media throughout the campaign, and the hack of the Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s e-mail seems likely to have been the work of Russian intelligence services.”

        Here Chen speculates that it was Russian intel when Assange has virtually assured everyone it was not Russian affiliated. And reasonable and fair people are also questioning whether it was Moscow. No credible evidence has yet to be released that says it emanated from a Russian operation.

        “By overplaying the influence of Russia’s disinformation campaign.”

        Here Chen fosters the whole notion that Russian disinformation aimed at an American audience is a substantive and serious problem. That it’s as serious as Chen purports it to be is dubious at best.

        Moreover, Chen wrote a big piece in Time magazine about a year ago in which he attempted to expose a huge Russian propaganda operation aimed at feeding disinformation to the U.S. public. Chen claims it “directly distributes disinformation.” Time’s been a fount of anti-Putin hysteria.

  7. John
    December 5, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I think it was a public service of the Washington Post to give readers a list of alternative websites to their government stenography. Although I read many of the sites mentioned, they opened my eyes to many more I’ve missed

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 5, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      The official unofficial directory.

  8. Abe
    December 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Norman Solomon’s well intended effort acknowledges that “mainline journalists and outlets jumped at the chance to amplify the Post’s piece of work”.

    However, what is missing in most reports about the WaPo / PropOrNot debacle are critical details about how “new” Internet-based propaganda launderers masquerading as “citizen journalists” and “independent researchers” are spinning us to death.

    Solomon’s piece functions as a paean to the purportedly “devastating” December 1 article by Adrian Chen in the New Yorker.

    But lauding is not reporting.

    For one thing, Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat wasn’t “just another source” for the New Yorker story.

    The not-reporting Chen lauded Higgins as “a well-respected researcher who has investigated Russian fake-news stories on his Web site, Bellingcat, for years”.

    A close look at both Chen and Higgins (which Solomon neglected to perform) shows that the New Yorker article was as much a propaganda mess as the Washington Post piece.

    Chen in the New Yorker also lauded the “scathing takedown” of the Washington Post performed by Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton of the Intercept.

    Like Chen, Greenwald and Norton gave props to Higgins.

    With the help of uncritical journalists like Chen, Greenwald and Norton, stories about the Washington Post / ProporNot debacle have ended up disseminating far more “fake news” than they exposed.

    Unmentioned by Chen, Greenwald and Norton, Higgins is a nonresident senior fellow for Digital Forensic Research Lab with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Program.

    ProporNot listed several “Related Projects” including Bellingcat, Stopfake, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab.

    Bellingcat and StopFake are First Draft Coalition “partners” along with the Washington Post and New York Times. All these “news organizations” collaborate in promoting “regime change” propaganda and publishing “fake news”.

    The Ukrainian propaganda website Stopfake belongs to the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of the many all-too-eager Ukrainian recipients of cash from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) since the March 2014 western-backed coup d’etat in Kiev.

    Allied with Bellingcat, Stopfake uses the same faux fact-check disinformation strategy that Higgins employs.

    Bellingcat, Stop Fake and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab all collaborate with major media like the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Newsweek to advance numerous “regime change” agendas. There is absolutely nothing “independent” about any of these propaganda organs.

    Solomon insists that “The New Yorker has been the largest media outlet to directly confront the Post’s egregious story.” But Chen of the New Yorker has simply added another layer of propaganda by positioning Higgins as some sort of authorirty on “fake news”.

    Solomon further claims that “Cogent assessments can also be found at The Intercept, Consortium News, Common Dreams, AlterNet, Rolling Stone, Fortune, CounterPunch, The Nation and numerous other sites.”

    None of these “cogent assessments” have reported in detail on the role of Higgins and Bellingcat as propaganda launerers and leading purveyors of “fake news”.

    Max Bumenthal at Alternet at least bothered to mention “Bellingcat, the crowdsourced military analysis blog run by Elliot Higgins through the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the U.S. State Department, various Gulf monarchies and the weapons industry. (Bellingcat is directly funded by Google, according to Higgins.)”

    However, like Chen, Greenwald and Norton, Blumenthal merely reports Higgins claim that Bellingcat did not give “permission” to PropOrNot without further discussion or analysis.

    It is time for real journalists to stop high-fiving each other for being blacklisted and earnestly investigate the main “fake news” purveyor in their midst: Bellingcat.

    • Drew Hunkins
      December 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Abe. If you see my most recent post I point out some of Chen’s/New Yorker’s failings.

      • Abe
        December 6, 2016 at 4:05 am

        Your comments are right on target, Drew.

    • Dennis Rice
      December 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Abe, what would they say/report that would satisfy you?

      My confidence in the ‘Intercept’, for example, is based on the accuracy of Intercept’s past reporting. The same for ‘Consortium’ news, ‘Informed Comment’ and a few others.

      That my own government, which is so willing to send American soldiers into battle, will lie to me and to all Americans is without doubt; Iraq, the illegal overthrow of Chile; “Why should we let Chile go communist just because the Chileans don’t know any better” [Kissinger]; The playing of both sides of the Iraq-Iran war, until the US could decide which side it wanted to win; and on and on and on it goes. Phil Donahue was removed from his show because he openly questioned the invasion of Iraq….

      Let me be honest and admit I am not familiar with Bellingcat (I can’t read everybody), but I do blink at the Washington Post on occasion and the NY Times.

      And, if any of those you’ve named bogged us down with “too much information” we wouldn’t read them.

      • Abe
        December 6, 2016 at 4:26 am

        No response thus far from Greenwald and Norton regarding their Twitter exchange with Higgins.

        Higgins and the Bellingcat serve as deception “conduits” as defined by the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Joint Publication 1-02), a compendium of approved terminology used by the U.S. military.

        Within military deception, “conduits” are information gateways to the “deception target.”

        A “deception target” is defined as the “adversary decision maker with the authority to make the decision that will achieve the deception objective.”

        The primary “deception targets” of propaganda, are key political policy makers and civilian populations in the United States and Europe.

        The Internet offers a ubiquitous, inexpensive and anonymous “open source” method for rapid propaganda dissemination.

        With no credible evidence of the Kremlin’s direct military involvement in eastern Ukraine, and faced with the prevailing distrust of the Pentagon or Western intelligence agencies, Washington advanced a new Propaganda 3.0 strategy.

        The propaganda is disseminated by making it “publicly available” via numerous channels, for example:

        – Russian anti-government oligarch-owned mainstream and social media
        – fake “reporters on the ground” in Ukraine
        – Ukrainian state media and privately-owned media
        – information released through US/NATO allies like Poland
        – most importantly, “analysis” of satellite imagery by fake “citizen journalists”

        These sources are infiltrated to “deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive” by taking advantage of “information overload”.

        A person can have difficulty understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much “publicly available” information.

        Information overload arises from the access to so much information, almost instantaneously, without knowing the validity of the content and the risk of misinformation.

        Information overload can lead to “information anxiety,” which is the gap between the information we understand and the information that we think that we must understand.

        Pentagon and Western intelligence deception operatives such as Higgins and Bellingcat position themselves as “independent researchers” helping to organize information to facilitate clear thinking.

        The actual purpose of these fake “citizen journalist” deception operatives is to provide a channel for deceptive Western propaganda to more effectively reach the public and be perceived as truthful.

        Higgins pimped this deception strategy in his article, “Social Media and Conflict Zones: The New Evidence Base for Policymaking” https://blogs.kcl.ac.uk/policywonkers/social-media-and-conflict-zones-the-new-evidence-base-for-policymaking/

        Citing “Bellingcat’s MH17 investigation”, Higgins declared that “a relatively small team of analysts is able to derive a rich picture of a conflict zone” using online information and social media.

        Higgins extolled the virtues of this “new evidence base” of “open source” information while side-stepping the limitless opportunities for deceptive information to be planted in online media.

        The “overarching point” concluded Higgins, is that “there is a real opportunity for open source intelligence analysis to provide the kind of evidence base that can underpin effective and successful foreign and security policymaking. It is an opportunity that policymakers should seize.”

        The Pentagon and Western intelligence have enthusiastically seized the opportunity to to disseminate propaganda using the “open source” scams of Higgins and Bellingcat.

      • Abe
        December 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm

        “The future of any project is determined by its content, distribution and audience involvement,” says Khodorkovsky-pleasing sycophant Vasily Gatov.
        http://www.khodorkovsky.com/mikhail-khodorkovsky-announces-open-media-project/

  9. Tannenhouser
    December 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    The US MSM could actually start ‘reporting’ instead of manufacturing news. That would make the whole ‘neo red scare’ narrative moot. That they don’t is more than enough proof, as to who and where the Prop is coming from, Yes?

    • Dennis Rice
      December 5, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Yes.

  10. Taras77
    December 5, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Michael Weiss is vicious and his site, interceptmag is a goto site for the virulent anti-Russian/Putin propaganda-earlier this year, taxpayer funder Radio Free Europe formed an association with interceptmag:

    https://shadowproof.com/2016/01/05/us-state-media-merges-with-right-wing-interpreter-mag/
    (comment: interpretermag is not what I would consider right wing, it is neo con on steroids so if that right wing, I guess it is what it is) It leads one to wonder what the hell the taxpayers are the hook for in propaganda but it is not surprising looking at the garbage coming out of the Ministry of Truth.
    Bellingcat has been associated with weiss in the past and has written some very egregious (read black) propaganda on the downing of MH17.
    Robert Parry has written on these two and I will try to find some of his articles. In the meantime, here is a somewhat lengthy article on weiss:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/michael-weiss-the-neocons-neocon/

  11. Zachary Smith
    December 5, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    We Demand That The Washington Post Retract Its Propaganda Story Defaming Naked Capitalism and Other Sites and Issue an Apology

    The article includes the 4-page letter their lawyer is sending the Jeff Bezos Post. Building a fire under the jerks seems to me a great idea.

  12. Abe
    December 6, 2016 at 4:00 am

    The not-so-devastating Adrian Chen happens to be quite the expert on propaganda about “Russian propaganda”.

    Turns out Chen’s major claim to “professional” journalistic fame rests on a little piece he wrote last year for the New York Times Magazine (“The Agency,” 2 June 2015) claiming that the “Russian Internet is awash in trolls”.

    Chen was obviously inspired by fellow “professional’ Brian Walker for The Guardian (“Salutin’ Putin: Inside a Russian Troll House,” 2 April 2015)

    Walker was obviously inspired by fellow “professional” Paul Gallagher for The Independent (“Revealed: Putin’s Army of Pro-Kremlin Bloggers”, 27 March 2015)

    Gallagher was obviously inspired by fellow “professional” Olga Bugorkova for the BBC (“Ukraine Conflict: Inside Russia’s ‘Kremlin Troll Army’,” 19 March 2015)

    Bugorkova was obviously inspired by “professionals” Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss for The Interpreter Mag (“The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money,” 22 November 2014)

    The special report by Pomerantsev and Weiss was obviously inspired by a series of articles written for the Russian capital’s only English-language daily: the militantly anti-government The Moscow Times.

    The report was a project of the Institute of Modern Russia, a think tank headquartered in New York City and headed by the son of former jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

    The Interpreter Mag / Institute of Modern Russia special report featured a “professional” from the Moscow Times: “Vasily Gatov, a Russian media analyst”.

    So Chen’s highly dramatic yet unoriginal little piece in the Times bore a legacy of “professional” propaganda about “Russian propaganda”.

    The same damn article has been getting regular facelifts for three years.

    Honoring that propaganda legacy in his latest little piece for the New Yorker, Chen consulted a “professional” on the matter.

    You guessed it: “Vasily Gatov, a Russian media analyst”.

    Turns out Gatov has gone places: Now he’s based in Boston, is a visiting fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and affirms “the professional standards that differentiate journalism from propaganda”
    http://www.khodorkovsky.com/journalism-as-a-profession-open-russia-journalism-awards-2016/

    Chen insists that by “overplaying the influence of Russia’s disinformation campaign” the PropOrNot report “plays directly into the hands of the Russian propagandists”.

    It would be entirely more accurate, if “unprofessional” or even “conspiratorial” in the eyes of the Washington Post, New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent, BBC, Interpreter Mag and Institute of Modern Russia, the PropOrNot report plays into the hands of the “professional” propagandists about “Russian propaganda”.

    For PropOrNot – “Your Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service, Since 2016!” – it’s gotta hurt to have your “Related Projects” list disavowed by Chen’s new BFF, Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat.

    Higgins is now flush with cash from Google and is being positioned as a “professional”.

    Bellingcat is a founding member of the First Draft Partner Network of “professional” propaganda “allies” that includes the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as fellow PropOrNot “Related Projects” Interpreter Mag, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, and Kiev-based Stopfake, all of which broadcast disinformation from Bellingcat “investigative reports”.

    The esteemed Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept appears to be clueless about the propaganda about the propaganda about “Russian propaganda”.

    Perhaps the esteemed Norman Solomon will write a more accurate article on the matter.

    • Taras77
      December 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks Abe-spot on the Chen/Bellingcat matter-it does appear that Higgens is being positioned as a “professional.”

      Paul Craig Roberts has an article in which he mentions Bellingcat’s “analysis” of the MH-17 downing: As I recall at the time, Bellingcat’s ‘analysis’ was particularly egregious in that some sources from Australia were quoted with fake radio intercepts.

      http://www.unz.com/proberts/mh-17-russia-convicted-by-propaganda-not-evidence/?highlight=bellingcat

  13. Abe
    December 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Google, the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, is very snugly in bed with the US military-surveillance complex.

    Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish “partnerships” with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

    Google’s mission statement from the outset was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

    In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their “Don’t be evil” culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: “We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see.”

    The corporate giant appears to have replaced the original motto altogether. A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct: “You can make money without doing evil”.

    Apparently Google believes that you can make money promoting propaganda and be not “evil”.

    Google has enthusiastically promoted Eliot Higgins “arm chair analytics” since 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

    In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an “Investigathon” in New York City. Google Ideas promoted Higgins’ “War and Pieces: Social Media Investigations” song and dance via their YouTube page.

    Higgins constantly claims that “the findings of Bellingcat” are “reaffirmed” using Google Earth. Originally called EarthViewer 3D, Google Earth was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004.

    Google Earth satellite images are provided by Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with direct connections to US defense and intelligence communities. Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, lavishly praised Digital Globe as “a true mission partner in every sense of the word”. Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA.

    Google remains an enthusiastic supporter of Higgins despite his track record of debunked claims about Syria and Russia.

    In addition to directly funding Bellingcat, Google formed the First Draft Coalition in June 2015 with Bellingcat as a founding member.

    In addition to the fake “independent investigators” at Bellingcat, the First Draft “partner network” includes the New York Times and Washington Post, the two principal neocon “regime change” propaganda media organs.

    In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Propaganda 3.0 coalition has declared its mission to “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process”.

    Google is thereby promoting the propaganda about the propaganda about “Russian propaganda”.

  14. Abe
    December 6, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    “The WikiLeaks revelations about Google and the company’s role in politics, security, and underhandedness should have caused an uproar. The Mountain View company’s alleged role in assisting the NSA in spying on Americans should have prompted an investigation. Google meddling in politics in foreign nations should have seen the search giant banned on five continents. Google ‘should have’ been sanctioned many times, but it never has been. Here’s a look at how a company that swore it would ‘do no evil’ does good.

    “Google’s Digital News Initiative is very much like the NGOs Billionaire George Soros has spawned across Europe. When the company announced the move to spread €150 million euro all about the European media landscape, even detractors underestimated the world’s biggest Internet conglomerate […]

    “The illegitimate news is baked in a Washington think tank, approved by the White House, paid for by media moguls and billionaires, and disseminated via controlled channels. Now, since independent and dissenting media has turned up the social media and non-traditional heat, Google and companies like Bertelmann and Axel Springer, in collaboration with governments, create tools and the legislatures (laws) to use them to further control the message. Take a look at the fruit of Round 1 of Google’s Digital News Initiative, something called ‘Project Shield’. On the face of it, this project can help news sites defeat DDoS attacks by third parties by ‘filtering’ and supposedly blocking attacks etc. The reality is the same as when Google first propagandized us to believe in agnostic and altruistic Internet business. View from the perspective of “’The Godfather’ of film fame for instance. Project Shield and these other initiatives simply make the public an offer they cannot refuse.

    “Rolled all-into-one; the Google and media conglomerate initiatives, the EU parliamentary cadence against Russia, the NATO expansionism, this new EU propaganda arm, and the western world’s old order exercise a massive control. If George Orwell could imagine it, the elites have set it in place. Standing back, viewing the policies and rhetoric mimicked continually, we can see the real game behind. Power, the continuation of it, is the ultimate goal, and it would not surprise me to discover Google was a formulate entity of power all along. The urban legend that such Internet monopolies as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and the rest just ‘happen’ seems less likely day by day. The ‘Fake Story’ parroted from the White House to Whitehall and from the Bundeskanzlerin is a figment of the same imagination that said Google will ‘Do no evil’.”

    The “Godfather’s” Address to the EU: An “Offer That Cannot Be Refused”
    By Phil Butler
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/12/06/the-godfather-s-address-to-the-eu-an-offer-that-cannot-be-refused/

  15. Abe
    December 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    “Spotlighting propaganda is an important goal in any society that cares about democracy. But we do little to understand how manipulation and indoctrination work if we engage in false narratives that unfairly demonize progressive media, while ignoring the actual propaganda that’s perpetrated in the ‘mainstream’ media. In an era of record mass distrust of the media, efforts to identify propaganda as merely the work of ‘others’ are hopelessly out of touch with growing public anger at officialdom and the officially-allied media propaganda we euphemistically call ‘news.'”

    Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
    By Anthony DiMaggio
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/06/post-fact-politics-reviewing-the-history-of-fake-news-and-propaganda/

    DiMaggio, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University, holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released: Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11 (2015).

  16. Abe
    December 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Reputable independent media outlets have engaged in remarkably superficial analyses of the Washington Post / PropOrNot debacle.

    Typical of this tendency, CounterPunch managing editor Joshua Frank remarked: “It only requires a quick glance at PropOrNot’s social media presence to see how juvenile their tactics are, which should have raised a red flag immediately about their legitimacy.”

    Indeed. But the all-too-apparent “amateur” character of PropOrNot is designed to function in a much larger propaganda narrative.

    Whether the Post and other mainstream media outlets “took the bait” proffered by PropOrNot (they needed absolutely no convincing) is hardly the point.

    This base level propaganda narrative narrowly focused on the “amateur” antics of PropOrNot provides a platform for “professional” propagandist Eliot Higgins of the fake “independent investigative journalist” site Bellingcat.

    Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton for the Intercept uncritically “took the bait” proffered by Higgins.

    Bellingcat is at the vanguard of the Google-sponsored First Draft Network, a Propaganda 3.0 conspiracy hiding in plain sight.

    The propaganda about propaganda about “Russian propaganda” is the ultimate “bait” designed to persuade US and international policy makers and their respective constituents to willingly embrace Orwellian censorship of the Internet as a “necessary evil”.

    Most independent media remain superficially focused on machinations of the Post and the Times, and ignore the media periphery.

    A more sophisticated awareness and critique of how “open source” Propaganda 3.0 narratives are advanced the digital media space is necessary.

    And a sustained, in-depth, multiple independent media investigation of Higgins and Bellingcat is long overdue.

    Robert Parry and a handful of others have made some inroads. It’s time for other independent media outlets to get on board.

    Somebody tweet Glenn Greenwald.

    • Abe
      December 9, 2016 at 1:35 am

      The Intercept is notably absent from the infamous PropOrNot list http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html

      Perhaps the Intercept is not so editorially independent of Pierre Omidyar as Greenwald insists.

      Maybe Omidyar is willing to pay the price of admission for a seat in Google’s shiny new First Draft propaganda “professionals” playhouse.

  17. Bob In Portland
    December 6, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I’ve lived through the assassinations of the sixties, Watergate, Iran-contra and all that cocaine falling from the sky. I’ve read all sorts of news sources and I’ve found that WaPo and the NY Times are the worst as far as reporting on the doings of our intelligence and military agencies, so an article by WaPo smearing the integrity of newsites is laughable.

    The problem I find is that things happen around the world and go unreported in the US media. I noticed how the NY Times’ poor and biased coverage of Ukraine from 2014 morphed into little coverage at all. Quite honestly, if I want to know what the fascists are doing in Ukraine I have to look at various Russian sites because there is no coverage in the Times or WaPo. The same with various actions in Syria and Iraq. You wouldn’t know that Syria is recapturing East Aleppo from the coverage in the American press. Mainstream media never discusses the role of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in financing ISIS. There is rarely a discussion of the House of Saud financing radical imams across the globe in spreading Wahhabism.

    Essentially, our allies are supporting our enemies and the US is in on the okeydoke. In the case of Syria, the fight against ISIS by the West is a fake fight in order to overthrow Syria. The Mighty Wurlitzer and its working parts cannot admit the treachery going on, and they cannot admit the truth, i.e., that the wars are all about controlling energy.

    • Realist
      December 7, 2016 at 12:52 am

      Some poster made the comment today, I believe in the HP (I read so many of these brain droppings in the course of a day that the details start to blur), in a discussion of “fake news,” that, if a story is not reported in the mainstream media, as far as he is concerned, it did not happen and is just “fake news” wherever else it may appear. I suspect that attitude is widespread amongst Americans and is exactly the response that the corporate mainstream media want you to exhibit. If they don’t cover it, like the tree that falls without notice in the forest, it simply is not part of reality. Like Karl Rove said to establish the new neocon paradigm: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. … as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can … We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” George Orwell called it the “memory hole” in his novel “1984.”

  18. Taras77
    December 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    This is a copy of a comment I just posted on Mr Parry’s article today-duplicate post just to ensure that the people interested here on this article get a chance to view the contribution from Wall Street on Parade-not surprising, some heavy duty money seems to be involved in this saga. My comment from other article:

    “Excellent Article, Mr Parry-thanks much!

    Attached is a link to today’s article from Walls Street on Parade-I believe it to be a site well worth visiting on a daily basis as they are keeping tabs on much of the chicanery which goes on a daily basis; today’s article summarizes some research into the ProporNot saga from WaPo. Not surprising, it mentions some possible links to a very well funded nec con org in the UK: Legatum Institute, with mentions of some of the usual neo con suspects. A person not mentioned who is prominent at Legatum and who writes for WaPo on a regular basis is Anne Applebaum. I used to read her articles for entertainment as she is virulently anti-Putin and has come out with some astounding assertions such as nuclear war should not be unthinkable in europe and NATO never promised not to move eastward. There are others if anyone is interested and WaPo has a list of some of her move recent articles.

    Peter Pomerantsev is also mentioned-he has been highly visible in neo con circles, testified before congressional committee, and co-authored an article or more with our boy, Michael Weiss. I did not see any mention to our other hero higgens and/or bellingcat but would not be at all surprised to find some link down the line.

    http://wallstreetonparade.com/

    • Abe
      December 8, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Among his numerous NATO info-war escapades since 2013 (when lots more cash was made available to fund NATO info-war escapades), Peter Pomerantsev weaponizes information as project chair for the Information Warfare Initiative of the Center for European Policy Analysis, the Lockheed- and Pentagon-funded institute that issues a stream of alarmist reports about Russian military threats to Eastern Europe.

      The gang at PropOrNot are huuuge fans of Pomerantsev and Adrian Chen
      http://www.propornot.com/p/reference-articles.html

      Unfortunately, Solomon was too devastated to notice that Chen’s New Yorker information was weaponized.

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